Constantino Chiwenga’s appointment as Zimbabwe’s vice president is the latest in a string of military leaders to be elevated to government positions.
Constantino Chiwenga, the top military chief, is set to retire and is being seen as the top contender for the post, in what has been claimed as the consolidation of the army’s power against the ex-President Robert Mugabe.
Robert Mugabe, the only leader Zimbabwe had known since independence, step down from power on November 21.
Supporters of long-serving African leaders dismiss parallels with Zimbabwe, where Mugabe’s former deputy – sacked during a power struggle with Mugabe’s wife – is about to take power with military and public backing.
Mnangagwa will replace Robert Mugabe, who stepped down on Tuesday after the army seized power and the ruling ZANU-PF party turned against him.
Contrary to popular sentiment that the coup would usher in a new era of democracy, the military intervention is much more about a succession crisis in the ruling Zanu-PF.
Mnangagwa will be sworn in on Wednesday or Thursday and will serve the remainder of Mugabe’s term until the next election due by September 2018.
The 93-year-old had clung on for a week after an army takeover and expulsion from his own ruling ZANU-PF party, but resigned shortly after parliament began an impeachment process seen as the only legal way to force him out.
The ruling ZANU-PF party plans to bring the impeachment motion in parliament after a Monday noon deadline expired for the besieged 93 year old leader to resign and bring the curtain down on nearly four decades in power.
ZANU-PF had given the 93-year-old, who has led his country since independence in 1980, less than 24 hours to quit as head of state or face impeachment, an attempt to secure a peaceful end to his tenure after a de facto military coup.
Some observers think Mugabe’s overthrow by the army might be a good thing for Zimbabwe. An Argentinean expert on Latin America’s bloody military dictatorships disagrees.
The unfolding drama in Harare was thrown into confusion when a smiling Mugabe was pictured shaking hands with Zimbabwe’s military chief, the man behind the coup, raising questions about whether or not the end of an era was near.
The protracted political crisis in Zimbabwe has worsened since President Mugabe fired vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa. Now the military has entered the fray, raising fears a coup is imminent.
Zimbabwean soldiers and armoured vehicles blocked roads to the main government offices, parliament and the courts in central Harare.
Mnangagwa, a liberation war veteran and a long-time ally of Mugabe, was until this week seen as a favourite to succeed the 93 year old leader.
With a nonagenarian president apparently still planning to run for re-election in 2018, Zimbabwe’s runners and riders are making themselves known.
President Robert Mugabe is also in South Africa for a summit, complicating dilemma as South Africa already has a difficult relationship with Zimbabwe.
The Gambian election dispute is not the first that ECOWAS has confronted. Côte d’Ivoire’s 2010 presidential election is a case in point. There it resorted to military action to enforce the outcome.
The legitimacy and credibility of those in power has been eroded by bad governance, patronage and the obsession to claim an exclusive agency representing the people.
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe was confirmed on Saturday as his party’s sole candidate for the next presidential election in 2018, when he will be 94.
Acknowledging the threat social media poses to his government, Mugabe has activated laws that limit the free flow of information and subject private communication to state surveillance.
Only around a dozen heads of state from the 120-nation Non-Aligned Movement made it to the meeting, in a blow for a government keen to bolster its international legitimacy.
Zimbabwe’s ruling party is facing a wave of online and offline protest.
President Robert Mugabe is facing rising public anger at the dire state of the economy, in particular shortages of cash and unemployment estimated at over 80%.
The cultural diversity in Bangalore doesn’t make itself visible during a walk down MG Road on a Sunday afternoon. Africans are simply invisible in daily life.
Television footage and pictures this month from the southern African country have shown baton-wielding riot police taking on groups of young men in restive Harare townships.
Magistrate Vakayi Chikwekwe said prosecutors presented different charges from those read out to Mawarire when he was arrested.
While the government threatened protestors with the “full wrath of the law”, Mawarire urged them to continue with the biggest demonstrations in a decade against President Mugabe.
Zimbabweans stayed at home on July 6, forcing businesses to shut, in the biggest protest since 2007 against unemployment and corruption.
His 2003 visit to the UK was a nerve-racking and politically fraught affair, writes Satyabrata Pal, who was India’s Deputy High Commissioner in London at the time.